Monday, August 1, 2011

Writing has ruined me

About a year ago, I was coerced into taking the buyer's position at my company. Now this may seem like a dream-come-true to some people, but I hate shopping. Even when it isn't my money, it feels like my money and it is difficult to spend it, especially if forced to buy more than we need.

Besides not being a "shopper," the job requires a lot of emails. It isn't uncommon to find 5o to 100 emails glaring at me from my inbox in the morning.

Sometimes I think old fashioned mail would be faster, but then again, a simple telephone call would be faster still. Sure I realize it is 19th century technology, but it is so much faster than email. Here is an example:

Acme: "Acme Company."

Me: "Hi, I need to place a purchase order for 250 of those tiny little screws with the Phillips head."

Acme: "Are you talking about the X19PA47838?"

Me: "Yes."

Acme: "You have to buy 5,000 of those at a time."

Me: "But I only need 250.

Acme: "But 5,000 is the minimum order."

Me: Exaggerated sigh. "Okay. How much?"

Acme: "Three cents each."

Me: "Okay. When can we have them?"

Acme: "They'll go out today and you should have them on Thursday."

Me: "Okay. Awesome. Use purchase order number 73P81

Acme: "Thank you. Bye."

Now if you read that out loud, even spending extra time on the sigh, it is only about a minute.

But if I use email, all those questions and answers--over a series of emails--will take several hours. This is because I'm a writer, which has totally destroyed my ability to write. First I write the email, then I begin the first edit, taking out as many words as possible. I must open the thesaurus to look up alternate words for "awesome" (which is just plain silly to say in an email), and decide on a different word for the second "okay." Then I do a spell-check. Next I run it past my email critique group, and make any necessary revisions. The next step is to submit it to my email beta readers. After meeting with them over coffee, I make more revisions. Next comes another session with the critique group, a final revision, and I'm finally ready to hit the "send" button. And that is just the first email. I must repeat it for the second and third.

Does anyone else find that emails drain the life out of your day?


  1. oooh oooh ohhh, just to realize you've ordered the wrong thingy and have to start the process all over again. totally me and my life!!

  2. LOL! I actually look forward to answering my e-mails every morning--but yes, whenever I have to send an important one, I have someone proof it for me.

  3. hahahahaha!!! That is so funny :D

    I couldn't do your job. I'd be too distracted with WDC, Facebook, reading blogs and...Ooops! Better do some work! LOL

  4. Catherine,

    I hate it when I order the wrong thing. Thankfully it doesn't happen often.


    I like the emails that don't require an answer.


    Yeah, probably not a good idea to read blogs at work. LOL


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